Our Impact

Since 1923 Goodwill Industries of the Greater Chattanooga Area has been empowering individuals, enriching the community and caring for the Earth.

Goodwill is committed to maintaining accountability to its donors and community members. Goodwill is a not-for-profit organization, 501(c)(3), whose mission is to help provide jobs and job training. We will continue to provide pertinent information regarding our financial well-being and the effectiveness of our programs. Read our annual report to find detailed financial and program information or view our IRS-990 form in the links below.

Is it true that your CEO earns $2.3 million a year?

No. The following “Think Before You Donate” false rumor
continually resurfaces in the form of social media posts and emails:

“CEO and owner Mark Curran profits $2.3 million a year. Goodwill is a very catchy name for his business. You donate to his business and then he sells the items for PROFIT. He pays nothing for his products and pays his workers minimum wage! Nice Guy. $0.00 goes to help anyone! Stop giving to this man.”

Goodwill® Industries International has more than a century of experience helping people who have disabilities, who live in poverty, or who have other barriers to employment in the U.S., Canada, and 12 other countries. Goodwill is a leading social services enterprise, and consistently ranks among the nation’s top charities.

Goodwill Industries was founded in 1902 in Boston by Rev. Edgar J. Helms, a Methodist minister and early social innovator, who modeled the principle of a hand up, not a handout.

Unfortunately, we sometimes stand in the line of fire from individuals and organizations who are misinformed and/or misrepresent us to the public. A negative rumor that has been circulating since 2005 when it first popped up in an email has recently resurfaced with a message like this: “Think about these before you donate. As you open your pockets to do a good thing and make yourself feel good, please keep these facts in mind…”

The message then quotes erroneous information and salary figures for several nonprofit organizations’ chief executives, including a reference to a so-called “Goodwill CEO and Owner Mark Curran, who profits $2.3 million a year.”

This information is simply wrong. As nonprofit organizations, neither Goodwill Industries International nor any of the 156 independent Goodwill agencies internationally are “owned” by anyone.  Steve Preston is the current President and CEO of Goodwill Industries International and reports to a volunteer Board of Directors.

Locally, Gena Weldon is the President & CEO of Goodwill Industries of the Greater Chattanooga Area. Gena graduated from Tennessee Wesleyan College, has a bachelor’s in accounting, and has spent more than 13 years of her career helping people with disadvantages reach their full potential through the power of work. She reports to a volunteer Board of Directors who sets goals for the organization and determines her salary.

Here in Chattanooga, more than 85% of the revenue we earn is spent on our mission to provide job training and workforce development services. This is a very healthy number in the nonprofit world.  Your donations to Goodwill’s retail and donation centers, and your financial contributions to Goodwill, fund programs and services that assist thousands of people in the Greater Chattanooga Area each year, across 23 counties and two states.

Nationwide, Goodwill has an “A” grade by CharityWatch.org, and was named 10th on the list of “America’s Top Charities 2020” by Forbes Magazine.

 We have also reached the Platinum-level of participation in the GuideStar Exchange for our demonstrated commitment to transparency. GuideStar USA, the premier source of nonprofit information, collects, organizes and publishes information on the programs, finances, and impact of more than 1.8 million IRS-recognized nonprofits. Platinum is the most elite level of the organization’s transparency program, GuideStar Exchange.

 Chattanooga Goodwill is fully accredited through the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).

Goodwill definitely encourages you to “think before you donate” – the one legitimate message that this damaging hoax email contains – and to learn more about the charities you’d like to support. Make sure the organization you choose uses its revenue for charitable purposes that support a mission you believe in.

For more information debunking this hoax email, please visit snopes.com, a website which validates and debunks urban legends, Internet rumors, e-mail forwards, and other stories of unknown or questionable origin.